Archive for October 2016 | Monthly archive page
Our Lachesis Publishing BOOK OF THE WEEK is DRAGON’S TOUCH by J.M. Griffin and Kristina Paglio. Linty Dragon Series (Book 1)
Book restoration specialist Lynn Tegan Dragon, or Linty as her family has always called her, has inherited the revered Dragon Estate along with a priceless collection of dragon statues. But Linty’s legacy comes with a heavy burden. She must guard the dragons and make sure they always remain in the Dragon ancestral home in Scotland. She must uncover the truth behind her grandmother Essie’s mysterious death. And she must find the key that unlocks the magical powers of the dragons in her possession.
Linty can trust no one. Not her father, nor her relatives, and certainly not the darkly handsome and dangerous Cullen Vaughn, a dragon expert, who claims he wants to help her. Determined to protect the statues with her life, Linty searches for answers as she fights off nefarious collectors who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the dragons . . . including murder.
J.M. Griffin. is the author of two cozy mystery series for Lachesis Publishing. The popular (and sexy) Vinnie Esposito series and the fun (and yummy) Deadly Bakery series and the co-author of the dark and compelling Linty Dragon Mystery Series. Book 1 Dragon’s Touch.
Our BOOK OF THE WEEK at Lachesis Publishing is The Accidental Witch by Jessica Penot (paranormal with romantic elements). It’s funny, scary, clever, and features a heroine that you will just love to bits.
What it’s about:
Phaedra Michaels is a small town psychologist who is beginning to lose hope. Two of her patients at the local hospital in Dismal, Alabama have just killed themselves, she’s still reeling from her divorce and what turned out to be a disastrous marriage, and her father has died, leaving her without any notion of who her real mother is.
Just as Phaedra decides to commit herself to a serious drinking problem and an eating disorder, or two, a mysterious spell book arrives in the mail. Feeling desperate, Phaedra uses it to cast spells to save her fading patients. Suddenly, good things start happening. Phaedra’s patients begin to get better and she even starts dating the sexy doctor from the hospital.
Phaedra is so happy she doesn’t notice the small things that start to go wrong in Dismal, or the dark creatures slithering out of the shadows near her house. When Phaedra finally realizes her spells have attracted every card-carrying demon from hell, she has no choice but to accept help from a slightly nerdy, 500 year-old warlock with a penchant for wearing super hero T-shirts and a knack for getting under Phaedra’s skin. Now, if only she could get the hang of this witch thing, she might be able to save her town.
I carefully pulled the twine and the brown paper fell off. Beneath the paper was a large, leather bound book. It looked like an old journal or recipe book. It was tied together with a red ribbon and the ribbon held numerous pieces of paper. I ran my hands over the smooth leather and read the title of the book. It simply said Spells.
I laughed and pulled the red ribbon that held the book together. The book fell open. Inside, it was like a recipe book a mother would pass on to a daughter. There were old typed pages with handwritten notes in the margins. There were pages added with handwritten spells on them and drawings.
“What the hell?” I said as I leafed through the old book. There were potions and summoning spells and candle spells. In-between pages, there were pressed flowers and herbs and some of the pages were stained with old candle wax.
I set the book down and went into the kitchen and opened the fridge. At least the kitchen was done. It looked like any other modern kitchen. It had granite counter tops and marble floors. I’d spared no expense making it look like something that belonged in an old southern mansion. I wanted the house to be perfect and I had Johnny Boy’s money to help me achieve that dream. The lights flickered when I entered. I would have to talk to Lawson about that in the morning. I took a beer out of the fridge and opened it. I had a sip and grabbed a roll of cookie dough. Armed with the cookie dough and beer, I returned to the book. It had fallen off the counter, to the floor, and was opened to a page. I laughed again. The page it had opened to was love spells. That was just what I needed.
I sat down and ate and drank and leafed through the book. I stopped at a page with an interesting picture on it. The spell was an awakening spell. It awakened you to the supernatural world. I hesitated and looked at the script around it.
Something fell upstairs and the lights went out. I fumbled around and found the nearest flashlight and switched it on just as the lights flickered back on.
“Lawson, you asshole,” I said as I turned the flashlight off. “The wiring is done in the parlor, my ass.”
A sudden wave of fatigue washed over me and I picked up my mess and carted my sorry butt upstairs. I climbed into bed with my flashlight. I still had the book of spells. It had been so long since someone had given me something that I had forgotten what it felt like. I knew the book was more than weird. It bordered on creepy. A normal woman would probably burn the damn thing, but I wasn’t a normal woman. I was a lonely divorcée living in a house known to be haunted, but I loved it the way most people love their pets. I was the daughter of a man who had made it clear that he loathed me, with a step-mother who’d bought me toilet paper for Christmas. The creepy book was wonderful to me. It meant that someone out there, even if they were a freak, cared about me, and freak love was better than no love at all.
Welcome to our second feature on the Killion Group, a dynamic full service company that specializes in brand marketing for authors from idea to execution. Today we’re chatting with Jennifer Jakes, one of the key point people at Killion who works one-on-one with authors on their books and on the marketing.
LP: Welcome Jennifer!
LP: You’re known as the Wench Whisperer at the Killion Group – a very unique sounding title – what does it mean?
JJ: Hi! Thank you for hosting us today J Well, when The Killion Group first started, we were Hot Damn Designs. And since Kim wrote Medieval Romance, we based everything on that premise. Kim as the Queen, our Web Tech was the Royal Scribe, so it fell into place that since I was the “contact” person for Killion, I became the wench whisperer. Needless to say we had / still have a LOT of first time Indie Authors. ((The company started in 2010, when Indie was new.)) Because we had a lot of first time authors, some of them were nervous about taking the Indie step. So like a horse whisperer calms nervous horses, I calmed first time authors and walked them step by step through the publishing process. Start to finish.
Since we’ve grown, I am still the main contact person for Killion, but I’ve also assumed the Formatter position. I format all the eBooks and Print books for authors, and I upload for them if they need us to. I also am the person who writes the Blurbs/ Back Cover Copy if authors need that service. It’s something I love doing. Since I don’t have time to write anymore, it’s a way I get to keep in touch with my writer’s creative side.
LP: Tell us about the photo shoot process at The Killion Group – from research to the actual shoots to the final images . . . what are the steps involved?
JJ: Well, if you haven’t seen our RWA ™ conference workshop of WHAT REALLY HAPPENS AT A ROMANCE NOVEL PHOTOSHOOT…?, it’s an hour of us showing you what we do from start to finish. Once we decide it’s time to shoot again, it involves me contacting the modeling agency, booking flights and hotels for the models, and all the details like that. Then Kim and I plan a day at the costume rental store (ie: the IKEA™ of costumes!!) where we have to force ourselves to not get carried away. That is difficult because there are so many beautiful costumes!! It can take several hours in the store, putting together costumes based on the sizes of our models and what genres we intend to shoot.
Then the next day, we show up at the studio about 2 hours before the models to set up everything from lights to costumes and props to making sure we have enough cold water and snacks / protein snacks for the models. Once the models start showing up, I begin on the hair and makeup on the female models while the male models start shooting “alone” shots with Kim (she’s our Queen and our photographer). Once the girl(s) are ready, we go onto set and I help Kim by getting the models into place for the shots with the couples.
We normally shoot for about 8 hrs…which turns into a 10-11 hr day for Kim and me. Once we stop shooting, we clean up the studio, pack all the costumes and props and call it a day.
LP: You’re also the hair and make-up/stylist on set – was that something you studied or something you learned on the job because you love it?
JJ: I went to Cosmetology School…so yes, I did study it. I don’t have my License anymore, but I do still love it! And it sure comes in handy on the shoots!
LP: Anything outrageous ever happen on a photo shoot?
JJ: LOL… aside from a few wardrobe fails, not really. It’s very surreal because literally we introduce 2 people to each other, and then 5 minutes later they have to pretend to be madly in love. Several of our female models have only ever done fashion/runway modeling, so they are nervous about up close ‘n personal with a handsome, sexy man draped all over them.
We try to keep things light and crack jokes because it can be stressful for the models…and stress will show immediately in a shot.
The lights make it hot on set and the floor is concrete so we’re really trying to get the shot and not make the models stand or kneel or pose uncomfortably for very long. And we’re moving through sets or genres quickly. So I really get my workout on shoot day, helping the girls in and out of corsets or gowns, hanging up costumes, getting props, etc. And I’m the “wind” in any shots we need that… I’m usually on the floor (out of camera view) with a box fan. LOL
LP: Does Cupid ever strike between the cover models?
JJ: LOL…Not really, no. However, Kim and I can tell if a couple find each other attractive or not. There is a spark that’s naturally there…a chemistry that you can’t fake. Those are the best shots. And frankly, we’ve brought in actual real life model couples so we have that spark and heat already there. Husband/wives or boyfriend/girlfriends. Those are always good shots.
LP: You’re also a romance author – and you write historical romance – what do you love about historical romance?
JJ: I love the fact that when I read historicals, I get lost in another era. I think it’s the best kind of “break” from reality.
LP: You’re an indie author but do you design your own covers or does the Killion Group design them?
JJ: Oh no! I’m not a designer!! LOL Kim has done all of my covers.
JJ: I think that despite the fact we say don’t judge a book by its cover, we ALL do. I do. And if you are going to compete with the thousands and thousands of other titles out there, you better start out with your best! And to me, that means a professional cover. It also means you feel your work is worthy of a professional cover. Just because you might have Canva or Photoshop on your computer (or your cousin’s daughter does) does NOT mean your cover will look professional. It takes the skill of someone who has trained in graphic design to produce a comptetitive cover. And we all know the competition is fierce for authors!
JJ: Oh gosh…. There’s a lot! First, I can work in my PJs if I wanted to. LOL But really it’s been fun meeting some of my favorite authors and getting to work with them. It’s given me a chance to be creative on different levels too – besides just writing. I’m a visual person anyway, so working on the photoshoots gives me a chance to use my creative eye. I normally stand beside or behind Kim while she’s shooting so that we have 2 sets of eyes on the models to see anything that might not look right.
LP: Who are some of your favourite authors and why?
JJ: Jillian Hart (who I have fan-girled over for long before she was a client), Dianna Love (started reading her books when I began formatting for her), Jodi Vaughn, Casey Clipper, Sabrina Jeffries, Anna Jeffrey, Jennifer Ashley (another one I read long before I got to work with her), Eliza Knight, Christi Caldwell – I know I’m forgetting someone but there are a lot of women who are kick-butt authors!
BONUS QUESTION: You are a self-described “chronic insomniac”. Tell us about some of your night time adventures?
Well…. really, that was more when my kids were small. LOL I think I got into mom-mode of listening for a “cry”. Now I sleep really well.
How about if I tell you of my man-chest oiler days… ?? That’s what we call the person who gets to oil the bare chests of the male models before the shirtless shots. Unless no one wants to read about that…..??? Anyone, anyone??
OK. So we used to manually oil the men’s chests. By that I mean it was either olive oil or baby oil rubbed on. Kim told me I could oil the chests at one shoot since it was my birthday. LOL ((And I must have done a really good job because I continued to hold that job. And it had nothing to do with the evil eye I gave anyone who tried to take my job…nothing at all. ))
But there was a problem. All that oil tended to smear on the costumes…really on everything. So we learned from someone if you use spray PAM™ (the kitchen pan spray) it worked great and wasn’t as greasy. So we do that now.
I like to tell the guys they smell like oregano. Haha
Just so you know my job isn’t all glamour, I will tell you a story about the male model who came in with a hairy back and said he needed help shaving it. I assumed he meant with an electric trimmer… Um, no. Deposable razor and shaving cream. It. Was. Not. Fun. :/
What It’s About:
Jersey “The Brawler” Romero is dying. Slowly. Tediously. Not the way he thought he would go out on the savage streets of Glory, the Twilight City. But all of that is about to change when Jersey is granted his youth again by a messenger of the Twilight Goddess, the Spirit of Glory. He’s also given a mission: save Glory from the dark forces that are bent on destroying her.
Jersey’s been a fighter his whole life, whether it was on the streets where he struggled to survive, or in prison where he fought to stay alive. Glory never gave him anything without a battle, and that’s what he’s always loved about his beloved city. But nothing has prepared him for the war that’s coming. Monster-like creatures masked as humans are bent on exterminating him. Their leader is a mysterious man named Templar. He’s been amassing an underground army called The Black Crux. Templar wants to make Glory his, by laying waste to everyone who stands in his way. Possessing an almost otherworldly vision, Templar knows everything about Jersey, including an explosive secret that will blast away everything Jersey has ever believed.
But Jersey isn’t called “The Brawler” for nothing. He’s determined to fight Templar with everything he’s got. Because he’s not just fighting for his life, he’s fighting for Glory’s very soul.
WHERE YOU CAN BUY IT:
READ AN EXCERPT:
We’re standing on the roof of Skript and Abigail hasn’t said a word in five minutes. She dragged me up here with such urgency, I figured the show would have started by now.
Sitting down in a damp lawn chair, I wait. Patience and I have nothing to say to each other, but Abigail has me intrigued so I let her have all the time she needs. It’s not easy opening up doors that have been locked for so long, especially to strangers. If that’s what we still were. Maybe strange acquaintance is a better term.
The view from the rooftop is actually quite beautiful. Rarely can the word beauty describe Glory. What little good happens to someone here, happens at the expense of someone else’s pain. Surprisingly, the night is peaceful. It’s never peaceful in Glory, so there’s obviously something off, but I don’t have the time nor the inclination to worry about it at the moment. It’s just the cone of silence. The calm before the storm. Strangely, I’m the calm. Abigail is the surging storm.
My eyes fall from the billions of firefly buildings to a sight more pleasing. Abigail stands looking up at the moon. It’s a waxing half-moon, but there’s still enough light for decent visibility. I watch her take off her leather jacket and pull off the gloves and drop them at her feet. Before my eyes, strange symbols begin to appear on her forearms and hands. The spaghetti strap top she’s wearing leaves much of her neck visible where more symbols begin to shimmer. Spiral patterns. They resemble some sort of tribal ink, but they begin to glow like lanterns in the dark. It’s an eerie, beautiful blue light. Cerulean, turquoise, and sapphire.
I stand up and move closer as Abigail turns around. I can see her face now. The incandescent markings have spiraled up her cheeks, climbing like staircases up to her eyes. Both her eyes shimmer inhumanly, one golden amber, the other a pool of twinkling emerald. Her breathing is erratic, she shakes, like she’s frightened I’m going to run away or grimace at the sight of her.
“Th-this . . . is me.” She stutters. “What . . . what I was talking about.”
Before I know it, she’s reaching for her jacket to cover herself. I spring forward and stop her, grasping her firmly by the shoulders. She looks up at me like she’s a monster that should be cowering in darkness. She won’t look at me. I can’t help but wonder who ever looked at her and cringed. Who made her feel so malformed? It’s perfectly clear to me she’s not the abomination she considers herself to be. She’s the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen. It’s not every day a street devil like me gets to behold a shimmering angel.
I move my hands to her cheeks, rubbing my thumbs over the glittering markings. There’s no textural difference. Her skin is as soft as cashmere. Her radiance is overwhelming. Her glow envelops me.
“My God,” I whisper. “You’re beautiful.”
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Ten years ago, Emily Miller went missing when she was only five years old. Everyone in town thought she had either drowned in the lake near her house, or had been kidnapped. Some even whispered that her father, Frank Miller was responsible.
No one suspected the old boathouse behind the Miller property, except Emily’s father. Frank Miller knew what had happened to his little girl. He knew the boathouse had her.
Ten years later, thirteen-year-old George Morgan wanders into the same boathouse and discovers a magical secret. At first he’s thrilled. He reveals his secret to his fifteen-year-old brother Eddie, thinking it will bring them closer together. After all, George and Eddie used to be best friends, before they moved to town, and before Eddie started hanging out with a bunch of older boys—the same boys who make it their mission to bully George on a daily basis. But, when Eddie tells his friends about the boathouse, everything starts to go wrong.
Suddenly the cool, magical secret of the boathouse isn’t a secret anymore, and the mysteries of the past come back to haunt them, putting their lives in great danger.
WHERE YOU CAN GET IT:
Award winning author Christina Holt has written two YA paranormals for Lachesis Publishing: Second Chance and Vanished. Her books delve into the supernatural world but are very grounded in what kids and teens experience growing up. Christina recently won the Darrell Award award for her YA, Vanished.